IS NOTHING MORE
Jamie Smith can be contacted
reactionarY ba firstname.lastname@example.org
730 Interdrive 2E.
St. Louis Mo.
Selected writings by jamie smith
\ee,lee,Ue t Jeejecjec, fU,tee,t^ nee^ee^ee,
All original written works contained.
who knows where the visual images came from.
No rights reserved.
All parts of this book may 12P reproduced and transmitted in any
form by any means, electronic or mechanical, especially including
photocopying if it is done at the expense of some unsuspecting
corporation. (z* D -
The poem titled ' ^fyu^
"The Next Morning She Bought Me Pancakes" Ct ^ y
was published in Currents literary Magazine <
Volume 36, Spring 2001
c ''~ "■ — ",- 1* - ' •• »-.i_. . •-.—
IMPORTANT: INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR MEDICATION
RX # 6138301
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.TAKE WITH WATER
August 24, 2001
Confessions of an anti-globalization anarchist activist
I exploring Ghana .
Sounds like a decent book title, huh?^
The passport arrived in the mail today, and suddenly I|
know deep down that this will change everything. I nowl
just need to get the visa in order and in two months I am]
to leave. . .Africa. |L^>^V^-iW-^
bb a saB^a
An old friend called me yesterday, she told me she was
proud. Very few people actually get to experience a.
dream. I taped this quote on the door today. "I want to run]
nude through Africa before there ain't no Africa left."
I want to... the list runs on and on for when i'm gonna be"
Somehow I don't think I'll be gone,|
I think I'll be found.
Shots begin soon, yellow fever, rabies, typhoid...
I honestly don't know if I will want to return, except
possible the selfishness involving personal comfort
I don't feel any particular concern for this nation
Yet maybe I just need to see it though different
TIYD SNOII-dlHOSaHd tfflOA - '
no ONnasNnoo aana noa ' *
DNIHAS TW/DOWOS H-XIH30N3
E0e8€T9 # XU
D £.-1 _ .
— 1 pair walking shoe
1 pair sandal
1 pair boots
__ 12 pairs white ankle socks
8 pair undies
— 2 pairs of shorts
— 3 pairs of pants
__ 2 skirts
1 light dress
1 sweater Me dicine&Toiletries
_1 rain jacket "E55??"-.
__ 1 bathing suit ~ toothbrush an <* toothpaste
__ 3 bandannas - soa P an d shampoo
yV — sunscreen
Do some research before leaving
jme. A large array of books, available
. in travel bookstores and university
libraries, explain cultural customs across
the globe. Read the introductory sec-
tions of guidebooks, and keep notes
on suggestions for how to dress, greet
4 people and act in religious temple 1 ;
clothing toliet paper
0.1 Pairofwa _ tampons . 4 monms ^
J 1 pair of flip ,. ,.
□ 24 pairs of — «9E!*«Me razors
□ 4 pairs of underwe- 1 ' v n
F I AHHrocc hnnii
□ 1-2 pairs of shorts
□ 1-2 skirts/trousers
□ 3 shirts / 2.
1 sweater/sweats — SWlSS a ™Y knife
□ 1 poncho/rain |ack travel journal
□ 1 Mght jacket __ address book
□ 1 bathing suit 1 . .
ju*i3**r>dc — dooks, guides, maps, compass
□ 1 semi-nice outfit — laundry soap and line
flat drain pluo
MEDICINE AND TO . ,~ "
□ Prescription medic sew llig Kit
prescriptions — plastic baggies, safety pins
□ Toothbrush and toe. Qlue Stick
L) Soap and shampoc _,_| ,
□ Comb and/or brusl— COl ° r ea pencils
□ Sunscreen, moisturizers, «g°™?>r_* DOCUMENTS, ETC.
□ Passocjrt (and visa if required)
IL. student id card
n — money belt
_ cash, travelers checks
_ insurance card
_ phone card
□ Poodor aat ha\'f $fcl
□ First-aid kit
□ Aspirin or other pain reliever
□ T««ueflib\i«A papt/ -
□ Tampons XM WmtflS
□ Disposable razors
□ Eyeglasses, sunglasses, contact
lenses and cleaning solution
I'm going to affect the
one-millionth of one
percent of the people that
1 . Biding Time.
2. 1 Want Revolution Like A Lover.
3. Third Presidential Debate Met With Protesters
4. She Went By Roach.
5. On DC- Wow There Is a Lot of State to Smash Here.
6. Farther From the Packaged Sun
7. Stairs Crammed Between Two Flights
8. The Next Morning She Bought Me Pancakes
9. Moms That Smoke Produce Felons
1 0. Running Joke
1 1 . Joy Like
12. 1 Was Born a Female
13. Packing List
The porch that we were sitting on allowed the
cold rain to strike my back. I really didn't care. A
afifcOQ^ child sat on a broken orange plastic couch
that slanted to the left.
"Hey kid, so how old are you?" My guess was
seven, he was skinny and about 4'4'. He swore that
he was 5 ft. I was quickly informed that he was ten
years old, and named Issac.
He proceeded to converse and when Jason,
crouching in front of him didn't seem to be paying
attention, Issac reached forward and quickly
slapped him across the face.
"Can we take him home?" I laughingly asked.
Issac. Who complimented the 'anarchy-
power-feminism' tattoo which graces my right
outside calf. "I have spray painted that sign before,"
he said with pride.
He went on to tell me all that he knew about
Mumia (Abu-Jamal). About the way things are in the
world. About the injustices, and how he donated an
entire bag of his toys to a garage sale to raise funds
for the defense.
He told me that he didn't think that they would
actually go through with the execution.
He told me that he really didn't have any
Oh, Issac. Where does it go from here? To
just another generation; another letter, named by
Newsweek. Another decade spinning down the
You have more friends then you will ever
by the day. For the weapons of this country and its power
is effecting the globe on an unprecedented scale. I will
utilize my experiences studying abroad to join a world
community. Creating a stable footing for a personal
commitment to ensure freedom for my generation and
those beyond my own time. Striving to create a global
community that embraces true pacification, without wars,
torture, genocide and without weapons of privilege. I
believe that my studies in Anthropology give me the
greatest insight for this pursuit which will be greatly
enhanced by an experience at the college level abroad. I
truly believe in the words of Dr. Margaret Mead,
"Anthropological field work with living peoples in small,
bounded communities is a vital preparation for
participation in the planning and development of new
planet- wide institutions" (Mead, Margaret. Letters From
the Field . Harper and Row. New York. 1977.).
I was born a white female in the mid twentieth
century industrial America. I came into this world armed to
the teeth with an arsenal of weapons. The weapons of
privilege; racial privilege, economic privilege. To be a
pacifist, I have to give up the weapons of privilege and go
into the world completely disarmed. I figure if there is a
worth while struggle in my own life, well that's probable
the one (Phillips, Utah. The past didn't go anywhere. 1996).
Thus far my commitment to this struggle has been through
education and actions, limited but steadfast. I know that it
is time to turn the page. Education through words can only
go so far. Activism for human, environmental, and labor
rights, is trapped by the weapons that my very life way as
an American warrants. I must move outside of privilege,
which I believe can best be accomplished at this juncture
by studying abroad.
That is where the experience at the University of
Ghana fits. A first step outside of this realm. A chance to
reflect on the privilege and solidify a strategy of actions. I
commit to utilize this experience educationally to continue
my studies in Cultural Anthropology. Upon graduation, I
anticipate two years of grueling work, again in Africa, as a
Peace Corps volunteer. Beyond that experience, choices
are unlimited and global humanitarian needs are growing
The Mr. Mad Face Mug
with the ceramic protruding nose,
always the first one I choose
hanging on the crooked line of nails
above the sink.
I offer it today to the kindred
with the guitar
missing fourth string
yet he always plays.
sweat at my collar bone
which you kissed last night \
in my kitchen
salty, you smacked, salty.
the racing of my thighs,
against the cars to the red light
stop yet I breeze through
gears upward shifting
I very rarely hear my name
instead its hon, sweet, darling
From the lost generation where
plant my feet
the let down
which is me.
"No, " I whisper, "I am staying with Carrie. "
She spits at me.
"Its her perky tits, right?" She laughs.
"My tits are perkier, "
Third Presidential Debate Met With Protesters in the
"Get back on the side walk now or you will be arrestedl"
In this thousand strong I discover my inner anarchist
The rush to not obey the order, the face of the weapon of
i this state.
To riot shields, batons, tear gas, primed and ready to
destroy the ideals;
there might be a better way.
My Cheerleader she chants:
"Whose streets? Our streets."
"May I ask you a few questions, like how do you feel right
I am going blind.
It is leaking down my nose, infiltrating my tear ducts;
I lean over to throw up.
"It burns," I scream. She pulls me back from tears.
My cheerleader she states:
"This is the truth, the police state."
"Can you identify the officer, can you handle that?"
His badge number reads 556; St. Louis Country Police
He begrudging unzips his coat, ashamed to show his
Cameras explode around me.
I do not shake, and address the man given weapons to
protect the state.
"You need a raise."
She is in control joyfully:
"What do we want? Anarchy!"
She went by roach.
Her hips caught the attention first
the sharp fleshy points
screaming not birthing hips but bitchy...
she yelled epitaphs like,
where did all the queer anarchy chicks
seem to disappear too.
This from beyond the entire assemble of layered black
it was really not that cold and the face mask
to disguise from the them, the her.
She went by roach,
and would not give her true name.
Which was Alicia who graded middle school test papers
Even in middle of the mid usa buried in america's
conservative bulbous fat layer
she knew to cover her face
and what a 'Seattle facial' really means.
She whispered her most pressing knowledge,
don't throw back the tear gas canisters.
We can cover it with the drums.
Where are the cracks from which they came, hidden not
just behind black face masks
but the counter top of the diner down the street.
She went by roach.
My answering machine salivates.
"Jamie, pick up, it's muy importante. "
She is like my Tyler Durden.
Birthing this cluster fuck of me.
I should have satiated the machine,
her voice creeps through these windows
leaking cold air.
350 miles away,
I half- laugh,
Kansas City straight out at me.
She is talking like she is trying to write some chick folk
"James, your body. ...."
caller ID, just $7.45 a month,
'Your body, is my poetry. "
Red hair flashes, spiky
piercing even in my mornings
smell her woman
masquerading through men's deodorant.
Veins pulsating through,
pale freckled skin.
She is cloaking her tears now,
yet they cascade down
blank new apartment walls.
"Why, why did you have to leave?"
It's quite simple really.
"So when you visit, your gonna stay with me right?"
Mom's that smoke produce felons.
A monkey can run a McDonalds.
Women that blow out there brains
or OD on sleeping pills
had caffeine in there bloodstream.
the lack of penetration
People sometimes blindly believe
that we can explain what we do.
Is it really the lack of morning coffee that
keeps us from
jumping off the roof?
Does not in the least exclude the choice,
the distinctive acts,
the distinctive consequences.
What kind of explanation do you wish to hear?
if you can justify your continuing to do what you do,
it does not exist.
I would have gone the other way
choices are predetermined,
we are fading into what we are.
/On DC- Wow, There is a lot of state to smash here."
Departure 7:20 pm Thursday Jan. 18 th
20 minutes behind schedule, we almost didn't make the
I bus, we were just sitting and talking, My brother- Scott-
jjj and my dad, it is an interesting mix.
I am rethinking the decision to take the overnight bus trip -
I am too excited to sleep. My brother doesn't know why he
is going, he says that his life is just fine. I think it is more
for the adventure, he says he wants to meet girls. A bus full
of strangers. A beautiful small family just got on, a girl
about ten she seems mature though and two small boys
with just the dad. He has astonishing hair, small tight
deadlocks down his back- perfect. Conversation lightly
buzzes but its so dark, lonely road. 700,000 people are
expected this weekend and its just the three of us- and in
math your taught to round up or down based on five. We
have no signs, no weapons, just us in our little group. The
world seems so dark and huge and we seem so small.
9:00am January 19 th
Pittsburgh, we have stopped at , Cleveland, , now we
depart again to DC. Its daylight now, the area is so hilly-I
am surprised at how much I slept although my tailbone
feels broken and my neck like i was in a collision. We met
another "protester" yet... we couldn't figure out what for.
Ok not funny but well he said something about abortion.
My rational side says, if he says that he's against I might
tangent on that fact that he has no uterus, and no control
over mine It feels so out of line, we pass by areas with
exactly the same restaurants, gas stations, decaying urban
areas its hard not to be pessimistic. In the dark last night
through Illinois a sprawling complex appeared out of no
where, It was brightly lit with that sickly yellow orange,
yet surrounded by barbed wire, it was massive. I said to
my dad, "Look look," he asked me, "What the hell is it?" A
Prison a prison, hidden away, a sickly glow.
We are pulling into a mall parking lot. To the right [___
through the window are three local police cars. I can't help ||
but feel some amazement. Its just any other car. Its just anyN<|
other person. The symbol not an absolute. We lock eyes \
and sort of laugh. /////</
Jfl n i
Scott's reading the Newsweek, I am so damn cynical
and just want to blurt out Newspeak or something as
asinine. We are just four years apart, seemingly an entire
generation. He seems more concerned with money, and
music- well music first but... for him Berkeley Calf, punk
music, a record... for me dreams of South Africa or China
human rights stuff, renouncing my citizenship...
I feel like a cockroach climbing out of the
woodwork where I am always scurrying around. Just to
disappear back into the normalcy of life school, work...
AFTERNOON Amish Country
He has been traveling on this route since St. Louis,
clearly a youth, i.e. Around my age, his lip is pierced and
his ear is stretched with this beautiful African inspired
black piece, he wears a brownish sweatshirt and the hood
up a lot, all he carries is a notebook and a pen. His t-shirt
underneath is ratty and says Got Punk? He says that he is
headed to Baltimore, I finally get him to tell me that he ran
out of money three days ago, I gave him a bag of Pecan
Sandies that my dad was holding and some candy and an
apple juice. When he gets to his next stop I will give him
money, I can't say I really know why. Maybe its something
about his dark solemn eyes which remain so quiet and the
ease with which he can sleep through the hum of an engine
that takes us away- "That I could jump ship and swim that
the ocean would hold me," I am a current inside of the sea
which is really a system that crashes down all around you
My ears feel as if filled with long clown balloon's and
inside pushing towards the surface, the shift is gradual
thought, the Rain is constant yet not striking the ground,
just mist moving in every direction.
We can't figure out what the hell the time is, its gonna be
cold and wet. I already feel sick.
Four seats ahead a mom and her kid debate with the guy
behind them about the security at the debates, "No worse
than usual." The heavy set man in a green and gray plaid
disagrees, he mentions the checkpoints
Just another hour to DC.
We shot glass drank Old English, this watery piss looking
on a warm sticky night so we sat outside.
Sat, rather dropped, ourselves
on the tacky damp plaid scavenged couch
in the front yard.
She was from Arkansas and said it was common, couches
in the front yard that is.
It stank, but so did we, in our ripped up jeans and the big
boots, which were required for the sculpture yard.
He came over, hard core crap blaring from the car. We
could not see him from the couch until the gate swung
open and stuck in the mud. He knew to pull it out.
"Just to stop in," he always said.
He spoiled us with drugs. We always wondered why.
I pissed and got more beer.
She rolled another joint from his bag.
We wasted away, and I crawled upstairs, music
sprung through the floor...
"You 're no rock and roll fun like a party that's over before its
My futon seemed so high, teetering on stacked cinder
I wished for a real bed.
My big boots got stuck on.
He took them off, I didn't know how he got into the room.
I guess he used my door.
He crawled up long side of me.
He move on top of me.
He moved in.
I began to cry like the snot bubbling lost kid that no one
really wants to help.
'You 're no rock and roll fun... "
I got lost somewhere in the song, the melody, which
ripped away my screams,
until I disappeared.
DC WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL HOSTEL
We are on the sixth floor, how we scored this available
space I will never know but the hostel is just amazing.
There are ten bunks in our room. I know Scott is still
awake, my dad however is snoring. It was a nerve racking
few hours in the city- the conflicts of traveling- At first I had
i forgotten the city and the public transportation, but it soon
came back to me. The sky outside is filled with strobe
lights coming from party after party, the town is alive and
so are the police, secret service seem to be everywhere. I
can feel the looks as we walk down the street, they seem to
know why we are here, I make it a point to be extra jovial
and excited. Even the night before as we walked down the
street other protester's nod at us and smile.
January 20 th
An alarm sounds and I am frozen, the room seemed to leak
cold air all night. We jump up and move quickly bringing
only 1 bag and off to the metro. We drop my dad off at the
Dupont Circle for the Voters March- they have a permit
and are 'moderate'. Scott and I circle back and hit the
streets, finally, meeting at Franklin Park where hundreds
of people almost all dressed in black mill around. People
joke a lot, the familiar. We march without a clue as to
where we are headed but we make noise. I can't tell how
long the progression is, we are close to the front. We go in
circles it seems through the city, hitting traffic in some
places which seems to freak those out in the cars. We are
lost and wandering and then we happen upon the
Washington Post, corporate media chants begin and
balloons filled with paint are thrown. Newspaper bins get
tipped over or thrown- we push forward and round the
corner heading to the parade route merely four blocks
ahead. The police appear and lock us in and a panic sets.
We are blocked in from the front and cannot move
anymore. I am right at the police line talking to the cops,
attempting the we have rights spiel. We get pushed
numerous times and billy clubs start indiscriminately
raining down. Scott is trying to push through and he gets
completely beaten, I get hit hard in the neck. We hit the
ground and back up. Linking arms and finally manage to
break through. I make a run for it but there are so many
people. We are still trapped so all we can do is turn back. ~~~1 p
Up and down this street. ;~ t—
sides with a building to our back. We are at a street corner
attempting to cross and walk sign flashes and the police
still stand in the way. They keep telling the crowd to get on
the sidewalk, get on the sidewalk. I don't budge. I am only
one step in the street but it is the only power that I have.
We surge forward and every walk sign and we get hit,
pushed. We try again. An officer tells me that maybe the
lady should step back. Everyone on the front line erupts
yelling, fighting. We push again forward and the billy
club is at my neck, digging into my chin. We just want to
cross this fucking street and the police start swinging. I get
punching directly by a cop in the left eye. I hit the cold wet
street face down hard and bodies pile on top of me. I go
limp and entirely inside of my mind. 1 am picked up from
above and an officer throws me back to the sidewalk. My
eye is swollen shut and 1 can not open it. 1 am at least back
on the line. A protester medic pulls me back into the
crowd. I have lost my brother. The media swarm around
me snapping pictures.
1 minutes later.
Someone is striking the police with a metal pole
from the top of a light pole, farther up a protester is
waving a black flag. A rumor of tear gas spreads quickly
and we all start to run.
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I Farther From the Packaged Sun
f N The curtain is billowing, yet the windows are both locked
.a Fingers are trailing through the yellow frayed butterfly
3 fabric from the outside,
% k | where it is frigid.
I don't want to move,
^ J so I settle into the crevice that my body has created.
'-; J* The cats hustle in.
^ £i They break down my door.
These furry balls fight constantly.
& £ 5 Until they are found basking on the faux middle eastern
< print carpet,
in some odd fraternal harmony, in the warmth of the
It filters in so rigidly defined in tight glowing lines.
I just want to lay, in the crevice of my body,
<r I snuggled up along side
- -&4| a lunch pail and a coat.
u.;?v Away from the packaged sun
■•- .* • ./ and sneer at the fingers
■ as they try to find me now.
.. .' *■'.*%,".,;
Stairs Crammed Between Two Flights
The concrete fakes marble; stairs resonate the slaps
of my bare feet.
The mail has arrived.
Its been there for days.
I finally make the trek, down to the row of boxes.
Boxes that remind me,
I am surrounded by strangers.
He is a stranger too, yet every night as I sleep he is
clicking away messages,
my lullaby. "Checks," I imagine he whispers, posing as an
orderly pushing open the cracked door.
"Checks," no, I have not yet escaped.
He looks at me now with a hesitation; he imagines that I
Prescription amphetamines were once widely
administered to housewives.
They would vacuum the carpet in places bare.
I can't vacuum now.
The mail is just bills.
Late bills, tacked onto the new ones,
dollar amount on the wattage of life this apartment, 2 East
"Byron," I say stepping from cold concrete faking marble
to the scratchy
"We've got mail"
Jackson County Detention Center
1300 Cherry Street
Kansas City, Mo.
I cannot comprehend the situation, the space in
which you now by force are residing. I sit at the computer
in your old bedroom not knowing what to say, just
knowing that I want you to know a few simple things.
First and foremost is that I am willing and want to
help in every way possible. I still care about your well
being, your happiness.
I received a phone call from Faye, she told me what
little she knew. I have tried everyday to get the correct
information. For at least a week I checked monochromatic
daily waiting for a new diary entry, something to prove
that this has not actually occurred. Finally Kristina at least
told me what she knew and gave me this address.
I just wish like last summer I could call up my
mommy at 3:00 in the morning and have her wire money to
get your ass out. It's not that simple this time is it?
My father said, when I told him the situation, that its
the most creative intelligent individuals that are the most
persecuted in the end. He might actually know what he is
talking about this time.
Its my birthday today, last summer on my birthday,
do you remember that night... its so different this year. I
am finally twenty one, isn't that funny. I can finally legally
drink. I am having a big party tomorrow night. It should be
crazy. I am always a bit nutty in the summer, you know
sleeping with the neighbors, awake until dawn.
Do you sleep a lot now? Can you read books? Can I
send you books, or magazines, or anything? Is your
mommy doing better?
Byron, I don't know truly what to say, or feel right
now. I sincerely hope and must believe that the truth will
come out and that this nightmare will end. I will do what
ever is beneficial towards that end.
Please stay strong and write back especially if you need
anything at all.
Solidarity and Love,